photo: @Hristo Mukhtanov
At the beginning of last year, the first more extensive (and at the same time endured) poetic experience, the first book by Hristo Mukhtanov, came out. Titled "Experiments on Evolution" and published by Ed. Scribens, it brings together three cycles, three poet voices (not Elliott), three stages of growth. Placed outside the titles, two thumbnails frame the process: from the open to the vulnerable start - "I can't" get into the essence, read the signs; to the final - to "know" that the previous was. At the end of the trip, I only feel the wind. This is where the debris should be, now that I am pulling away, when I am leaving my gaze and the path I have walked.
Numbered and unnamed, cycles play the role of stages in the duration of evolution and lead smoothly to its final. As part of the whole, the poems in the book are also unnamed. They do not flow directly into each other. They are linked by the logic of specific postponement, layering: once brought out, the topic remains open for correspondence, for repeated, but also different, "experience." At the same time, correspondence enriches, creates the nonlinear internal movement of the book and furrows, imparts a relief to the word, does not impede the apparent sense of meaningful completion of the individual poetic text.
"I've caught a cold -
how much anyone could
autopsy my body,
to find the one shimmering below -
I have too few possessions,
except for the frost ball
of your mind -
take a round spoon
and through the flesh he reaped:
what is the taste
what are you trying "
The relations between the works (the so-called layering) also mark the imperfect nature, the unending transience of the course of events. The events are poetized, reduced to images, to comparisons and metaphors, through which to find expression, output, termination, to illustrate the idea of striving for personal evolution.
In the first part, the "series of interpretations" (Foucault) of the evolutionary is directed to the individual pulse of flow, to the continuous human wandering between emergence and withering, gathering and disintegration. It enters the unsuccessful attempts of the hundreds of lost days, with the desire to cover the streets with words and to re-create the world, to resist while we remain "half-thought". There is a tangible tendency to adapt, to preserve, when the body, forms, matter dissolve, disperse.
"There are fountains nearby,
if I'm in the jet, I can
and I should scatter
on glasses and clothes,
to carry me
with your bags ”
In the second part of the book, the perspective changes slightly and imperceptibly. Transitions are more categorical, more pronounced. It goes through the disintegration of the body to the cell and molecule, to the small building block, to continue inward "along the paths, concave / into the soft stone of memory." Just as one can "break" the phases, make sense of the epochs that mankind has already gone through, so through the particle one can look at regularities, universal principles, which are determined neither by scale nor magnitude.
"Unspoken words settle
on the edges of the cells -
toxic matter that
I can't be thrown away
and is superimposed… "
Attempts take different directions, albeit with the same tasks. To read the signs of lasting. Find the supports that support the supports. Think about the boundaries of the individual, the invisible lines beyond which she cannot exist. Spraying is experienced and overcome. The consequences remain to be sorted out. The ways, the ways of reading the traces, the means of perception, of communicating with the external are beginning to be sought.
In the middle of the cycle, in the original conceptual center of the book, one wonders, "how long will I be a duplicate / of my skin"? The answer is not clear. It orientates by reconciling the eternal split between external and internal, between present and past, between the body and its occupant. The movement is seemingly dying, the vision is blurred, the person stops, stiffens at the question: what is it to be the last, "last emperor" when nothing is left, the story is not complete, it is full of white fields, with lost fragments, with absences . Despite the shortcomings, it has to be built, to recreate life, path, movement.
The environment, the environment and the meanings it creates, the public skin we live under, are increasingly being looked at. Gradually, at the end of the second and the beginning of the third cycle, with "I have so much self-knowledge" for now, a place is given way, a voice is given to social issues, collective dilemmas. They are presented not with their malicious face or with the intention of their portraits to find the irrevocable solution of the insoluble, but through the slip away, the insolvency of the unified perspective. Thus the history of the unit goes through the history of the hundreds. We are climbing the stages of human existence: from the "ancient Roman foundations" to "today's post-communism." Then the man returns to his home of reasoning, in the cramped confinement of the confined space. He realizes that what he has written is a missing reality, a word beyond the present, and slowly begins to ask for the next, for tomorrow.
"If you don't leave behind an heir,
it means your last
of its kind,
is a big enough responsibility. "
The responsibility assumed goes beyond the expectation of the other. To see you, you wait for the sunrise, then you wait for a heir to be born, to cry for a replacement - the atypical counterpart in the future. Thus, the last poem in the cycle closes the circles of the book, permeating its layered integrity, referring to the title - with the "attempt" to make way for the coming. It also points to the cover, to the archeopteryx, whose white feathers lie beneath the surface, beneath the layers. All the previous species are within, at the nucleus of the cell, whether it is a society, a city, a human being, in order and chaos, in the folds of states, in the moment in which the thought is formed. Awareness comes as a "light breeze". Evolutionary processes are reassured. Centuries rest, arranged as cold earth layers for another to dig through.
In fact, Attempts at Evolution is reminiscent of a building of poetry, a construction in which each poem is an opening to a situation, a place, a time, while in the neighborhood the individual works look as much as they meet, intersect, correspond. In the poetry of Hristo Mukhtanov, they "coexist" with an affinity for subject matter, for expressiveness and metaphoricity from the lines of the anatomical, biological, scientific with the creative (the verse writing itself), with the subject, the social, the public. Their designation (often through proper pronouns), their linguistic flesh, and their symbolized substance are merely reasons for concentrated analytical breakthroughs in which emotion is muted, derived from the event in which philosophical problems are posed. The philosophical is achieved organically, without pathos, without poster announcements and grand, luminous conclusions, since the book is a lyrical archeology for the insight under the cover, for the discovery of the senses, for the ups, downs, metamorphoses of the person who masks, creates, transforms himself your. Here are the attempts to develop and discover, but also what makes you human, the story you make up, but also the story that led to you, which is at the root of everything.